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Paul Weller, Telekinesis, Frightened Rabbit, Big Pink, Kitteh   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 30, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PAUL WELLER & KEVIN SHIELDS: The men behind The Jam and My Bloody Valentine team up for "7 & 3 is the Striker's Name."

TELEKINESIS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including one unreleased.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT also did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE BIG PINK stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

SAM ROBERTS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

THE HEADLIGHTS have a new video for "Love Song For Buddy" that's even sadder than the song.

THE ALBUMS OF THE DECADE, according to The Guardian.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: Ian McCullcoch talks to New York magazine about divine inspiration, the voices in his head, and arena rock.

THE XX: Romy Madley Croft talks to the Seattle Times about the band's  debut, with embedded audio.

SINGERS WHO CAN'T SING, courtesy of the Telegraph.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Twilight: New Moon again took the top slot with 42.5 million (66 million over the long weekend), sailing to 230 million so far.  But the sequel did have a drop suggesting frontloading, as The Blind Side almost beat the vampires from Fri-Sun, making 40.1 million on an 18 percent increase over last weekend.  The Sandra Bullock sports drama broke the 100 million mark, too. 2012 held onto the third spot with 18 million, with a 138 million total against a 200 million budget (good thing the worldwide total is about 487 million).  Old Dogs debuted at No.4 with 16.8 million, as people fooled into seeing Wid Hogs have apparently learned something.  A Christmas Carol got an unsurprising holdiay bump, jumping 30 percent to take in 16 million; it too crosses the 100 million mark but will need those holiday legs against a 200 million budget.  Below the fold, Ninja Assassin opened in sixth, with a lackluster 13.3 million (21.2 million since Wednesday) against a 40 million budget.  The Road opened in 11th place, but was on a mere 111 screens.

THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX unfortunately landed in ninth place after expanding wide for the holidays (eighth over the long weekend).  Perhaps people just did not know what to make of the combo of 70's-style animation and director Wes Anderson.  But this is not only a charming movie the whole family can enjoy, but also a return to form for Anderson.  It's no Royal Tenenbaums, but a marked improvement over the disappointing Darjeeling Ltd.  Maybe good word of mouth can build on its good reviews to help a probable Oscar nominee next weekend (before Disney's The Princes and the Frog arrives on Dec. 11th).

TIGER WOODS was injured in a car accident outside his Isleworth home, driving into a fire hydrant and a tree. TMZ claims he was being attacked by his wife over reports of alleged infidelity, and that the star golfer may have been taking painkillers.  The gossip blog further claims that Tiger told a friend he needed a "Kobe special" and said his wife had "gone ghetto" on him.  Also, Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, changed the story she told the first officer on the scene, according to law enforcement sources.  Woods refused to meet with police over the weekend.  The alleged mistress denies any affair, and is reportedly meeting with celeb lawyer Gloria Allred.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was rushed to a hospital by ambulance Friday after suffering a seizure.

JENNIFER LOPEZ's ex is threatening to make intimate home videos of the star public this week.

ROMAN POLANSKI got out on bail with help from French Pres. Sarkozy and is now under house arrest in his swank ski chalet in Gstaad.  Experts say that if the convicted rapist decides to flee again, the police will not be able to recapture him.

GERARD BUTLER had Thanksgiving dinner with singer Natalie Imbruglia and socialite Kimberly Stewart. So many punchlines.

JESSICA BIEL talks to The Independent about playing an alien and being treated like one.

THE TEN MOST ROMANTIC SCENES OF THE DECADE, according to Cinema Blend.

TOP TEN GULITY PLEASURES OF THE DECADE, according to Cinema Blend.

SWITZERLAND: Voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show. Women were more likely to vote for the ban.

IRAN, after receiving the dreaded "strongly worded letter" from the UN about its nuclear program, approved plans Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities.

IRAQ: Thanksgiving in Tikrit.

SURPRISED KITTEH: Let's go to the video.

A FLATULENT PIG sparked fears of a potentially dangerous gas leak in Axedale, Australia.

A CHOCOLATE LABRADOR is taking a human's job at a BP gas station/convenience store in Clearater, FL.

ICEE THE CAT, rescued from almost certain death after a Colorado snowstorm.

ADORABLE BABY MEERKATS snuggle up to a cuddly teddy after their mother tragically died.

SUPER-TERMITES cause the govt of New South Wales to take extraordinary measures.

1081 Reads

When the Gales of November Came Late, Faves 2009 (plus more)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

with THE WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD: The legend lives o­n from the Chippewa o­n down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. I inexplicably missed the 34rd anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched o­n June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship o­n the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.

The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took o­n water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss of the due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.

After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, o­nce for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night.

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now o­n display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from o­ne of the underwater explorations of the wreck. Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.

The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks o­n the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. And there's a homemade video for it, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS:  Ken King -- who has lived o­n the U.P. of  Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)

FAVES 2009:  I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend.  To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours).  With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size.  It's an unordered list. I likely will have overlooked something that I really dig.  And some of these are grouped together, because that's the way they occurred to me at the moment.  And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.

KING KHAN: Case in point.  When I was a full-time hipster, "What Is?" would have made my 2007 list as an import.  But it became available here in the States this year, and it's a tasty amalgam of garage, psych and classic R & B, with a dash of old school funk that is totally in one of my wheelhouses.  Indeed, "Land of the Freak" may be all of those things at once.

NEKO CASE found mainstream success this year with "Middle Cyclone," but I try not to be snobby about that sort of thing, despite he moving out of town.  The mainstream could be cooler and I would be just fine with it.

GRIZZLY BEAR, like Neko, found mainstream success with "Veckatimest."  But I have always been a sucker for odd, Brian Wilson-esque vocal pop, so there you have it.  ANIMAL COLLECTIVE fits into roughly the same vein with "Merriweather Post Pavillion," though that's even more artsy.  DIRTY PROJECTORS also fit the bill with "Bitte Orca".

M. WARD: Another artist on a roll, following last year's wonderful She & Him album with his own "Hold Time."  And he managed to squeeze in the MONSTERS OF FOLK album with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and Saddle Creek's Mike Mogis.

ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark brought equal measures of Disney-esque whimsy and guitar shredding to "Actor" and improbably made it work.

RICHARD HAWLEY: "Truelove's Gutter" may be his most challenging, least accessible albums -- so if you haven't heard him, "Cole's Corner" or "Lady's Bridge" might be better entry points.  But Hawley is another on this list who brings a classic sensibility into the heart of modern life.  Music for 3 a.m.

GIRLS: "Album" is a fave of the moment, and I think it might just stick.  Off-kilter. Askew. Profane!

CAMERA OBSCURA regularly taps into two of my other soft spots -- Spectorian pop and Northern Soul -- and "My Maudlin Career" is no exception. "The Sweetest Thing" just about is.

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART: I love the Jesus and Mary Chain, and so does TPOBPAH, apparently.  Then again, JAMC loved the VU and the Ramones, so it all comes around.  It comes around so often that you have to be good to stand out, and they do.  Fuzzy, fizzy pop for now people now.  THE RAVEONETTES are also in this category; always good, but "In and Out of Control" is one of my faves of theirs. (I suspect SLEIGH BELLS will continue building buzz here, too.)

EDWARD SHARPE and the MAGNETIC ZEROS: Freaky collectives? Sure, I dig 'em.  And I heard "Home" close out an episode of NBC's "Community," which was freaky-deaky.

THE XX: Come to think of it, this might not be one of my faves -- and they already lost a member -- but I respect 'em.  Spare, spindly, and yet still atmospheric.

MAYER HAWTHORNE: Yep, I'm a sucker for classic R & B sounds, and all the more impressive for having made them all himself on "A Strange Arrangement," though he's got a band now. Also working the Wes Anderson vibe visually.

THE AVETT BROTHERS: "I and Love and You" has range and charm.  I suppose it could be called Americana, but in the way The Band is -- not weighed down by too much reverence for the foundations upon which it builds.  THE FELICE BROTHERS get honorable mention here for "Yonder is the Clock."

PHOENIX: They're from France, and yet I like "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." So they must be doing something right, like becoming less ambient.

MASTODON: Okay, metal is really not my thing, but I know Pate bassist Mike Kelly likes his share, so "Crack the Skye" gets a mention here.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING:  It's always somewhere on the net.

THANKSGIVING has a lot of myths, both traditional and the new "Pilgrims were evil" o­nes taught in some public schools. Not to mention the fights over kindergarteners dressing as Native Americans.  However, if you read the journal of William Bradford -- who served some 35 years as governor of the Pilgims' colony -- you quickly discover that the Pilgrims' relationship with the natives was complex and that the colony was ultimately saved when Bradford started doing away with collectivism and granting property rights.

TURKEY TRACKER: Watch the bird.

CUTOUT BIN: From Vince Guaraldi to AC/DC, from Jackie Wilson to Graham Parker, from TMBG to Jimi Hendrix, plus Ray Davies, Blondie, Beck, Big Star and The Beatles, plus more  -- this weekend's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

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Muppets, The Heavy, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Bulldog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE MUPPETS: "Bohemian Rhapsody."

THE HEAVY stopped by KEXP for a mini-set you can stream and download via NPR.

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.  Frontman Joe D'Agostino talks to Flavorpill about the band's recent tour and finding big, magical moments inside a song.

SONGS FOR STUFFING: A Thanksgiving mix from NPR.

BEST SONGS OF THE DECADE, according to Spinner.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Hear "Graze," the first track off their new EP.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: Previously unreleased material will appear on a limited edition single included with a new book on the seminal band.

CALIFONE has a new video for "Funeral Singers."

SONIC YOUTH: Thurston Moore shuffles his iPod for the Boston Globe.

FANFARLO frontman Simon Balthazar talks to the SF Examiner about The New Yorker, books, and the bloody video shoot for "The Walls Are Coming Down."

FRIGHTENED RABBIT: Scott Hutchison talks to Drowned In Sound about the band's upcoming album.

20 BEATLES BURIED TREASURES -- to the extent there are such things -- according to PopMatters. ALSO: The Beatles on Record premieres tonight at 10PM ET/PT on the History Channel.

20 MOVIE-INSPIRED BAND NAMES, courtesy of Spinner.

NOW SHOWING:  The holiday weekend brings Old Dogs, which is currently scoring 7 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and Ninja Assassin, which is scoring 30 percent, while the Fantastic Mr. Fox expands wide, scoring 92 percent.

BRITNEY SPEARS is telling friends she's ready to marry her boyfriend Jason Trawick. Has he turned her down?

PAULA DEEN: The celebrity chef was helping the Hosea Feed the Hungry charity load up food when an errantly tossed ham hit her in the face. Video at the link.

BRADGELINA gave over six million dollars to charities last year, more than double what they gave in 2007.

JOHN MAYER and GERARD BUTLER: Soul mates?

TILA TEQUILA threatens to sue over an allegedly stolen sex tape that has leaked onto the Internet.

THE 100 BEST MOVIES OF THE DECADE, according to Popdose.

WERNER HERZOG: The legendary director talks to Salon about his non-remake of Bad Lieutenant, which is scoring 84 percent.

IRAN is again interested in stringing out nuclear negotiations to avoid sanctions.

HEY, BULLDOG: Riding Tony Hawk's Skateboard. I remember when dogs used to skate outdoors for real exercise.

A SQUIRREL attacks a dog to save its baby. Awww...some action pics at the link.

WHEN KANGAROOS ATTACK: An Australian man has been slashed across the abdomen and face by a kangaroo that was holding his dog underwater.

DEEP SEA ODDITIES: A slideshow.

A MASSACHUSETTS WOMAN is seeking donations to help pay for eye surgery for her turkey named Jerry.

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New Releases, Jarvis Cocker, Zee Avi, Elvis Costello, Talking Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE CRIBS' latest video is for "We Share The Same Skies."

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Tom Waits, Jawbox, Kraftwerk, Miles Davis and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

THE 20 BEST LIVE ACTS OF THE DECADE, according to Paste, has plenty of video evidence.

JARVIS COCKER plays a video mini-set at the BBC 6 Hub.

ZEE AVI played a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, including a Morrissey cover.

ELVIS COSTELLO played "High Fidelity" and "(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea" with The Roots and "Cheap Reward" with Stephen Colbert, just in time for Twofer Tuesday.

NEKO CASE talks to Tallahassee.com about her new holiday ditty, "Santa Left A Booger in My Stocking,"sung with the helium-voiced cartoon character Meatwad from the cult TV series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." And more.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to the Nashville Scene about the evolution of the Biblical theme of The Life of the World to Come.

FLORENCE and the MACHINE: Ms. Welch is profiled by The Independent: "I didn't really see it in terms of like 'I'm really good'. It was just something I felt compelled to do."

DEVO's Gerald Casale tells NOW the origin of the energy domes, and more...

WHAT UP WITH THAT? If you haven't seen it, you need to.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER looked like more than pals during the wee hours of Thursday night.

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS HIGHLIGHTS: If you were smart enough to avoid the show, here's Kate Hudson's wardrobe near-malfunction and Jennifer Lopez falling on her rear end.

KATIE COURIC's Forbidden Dance of Gin.

STEVE PERRY talks to PopEater about why TV shows from The Sopranos to Glee "Don't Stop Believin'."

KATE BOSWORTH AND ALEXANDER SKARSGARD were caught again getting cozy on a movie date ... just four days after canoodling at GQ's Men of the Year party.

GEORGE CLOONEY isn't short on romance pointers - even if they're for a younger, female costar.

OPRAH WINFREY is starting her own network, but how to get cable and satellite distributors to pay big bucks for it?

IRAN: A senior cleric said ballistic missiles will land in Tel Aviv and the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps Air Force said "Israeli warplanes will be completely destroyed," if Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked.

IRAQ's parliament passed the election law for a second time, sending it back to the presidential council.

TALKING KITTY: Let's go to the video.

SEVEN BULLS broke loose on the set of a film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, and can you blame them?

CATS and DOGS: That disaster of Biblical proportions may get started in Vegas.

HOW CATS THINK: Scientists from IBM are on the case.

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Lou Barlow, Grant Lee Phillips, JBM, Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 23, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

VAMPIRE WEEKEND plays with a dolly in the video for "Cousins."

LOU BARLOW stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming now via MPR.

BOB SCHNEIDER and GRANT LEE PHILLIPS played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig now via NPR.

JBM (a/k/a Jesse Marchant) does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

IMELDA MAY, bringing modern Rockabilly from Ireland, gets a feature plus tracks from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.

NO AGE rocks out with Bob Mould, Bradford Cox and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch at ATP 2009. (language)

THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS went to these folks, in a general indictment of the mainstream music biz.

STEVE LILYWHITE talks to the Daily Swarm about working with U2, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Johnny Thunders, Ultravox, Guster, She & Him, XTC, Jason Mraz, The Pogues, Counting Crows, Siouxie and the Banshees, The La's, David Byrne, Morrissey, Chris Cornell, Phish, Matchbox 20 and many more.

DEVENDRA BANHART is profiled by the Boston Globe.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: The Nuns Are on the Sea Wall points you to audio and video recordings which have "not been officially released." (Thx, LHB.)

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: To no one's surprise, The Twilight Saga: New Moon dominated the cineplex with 140 million in sales.  It had an all-time record opening day of 72.7 million, but falls behind The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 for record-setting opening weekends. It's the biggest November debut also, easily beating out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire's 102 million.  The first Twilight opened with 69.6 million.  Sandra Bullock's true-life sports drama The Blind Side was impressive counter-programming, earning 34.5 million against a 55 million budget. 2012 dropped 59 percent to the third slot, making 26.5 million -- it clears the 100 million barrier in the US and has made another 160 million or so worldwide.  Planet 51 debuted in fourth place with 12.6 million against a 50 million budget (ouch).  The 3-D CGI mocap Christmas Carol rounds out the Top Five, with 12.2 million -- its 45 percent drop looks ugly, but it's the sort of flick that may well perk up again over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Below the fold, Precious continued a successful platform release, taking in 11 million in the No. 6 slot -- it has already made 21 million against a 10 million budget, with plenty more to come.  Overall, this was the second biggest weekend in US movie history, falling only top The Dark Knight debut.

MILEY CYRUS' tour bus driver was killed after one of the buses in her 4-vehicle caravan flipped over on a highway in Virginia.

MICHAEL JACKSON: A decision on whether to prosecute Jacko's doctor will not be made until 2010.  The sparkly glove worn during the moonwalk seen 'round the world (at Motown's 25th anniversary special), was purchased by a Hong Kong businessman on Saturday for 350K.

MICHAEL BAY defends Megan Fox.

OPRAH WINFREY: Nikki Finke has more details on Winfrey's next show and desperation to leave Chicago.

50 CENT vs. MARV ALBERT: Who you got?

THE TEN BEST MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS OF THE DECADE, according to Paste, with audio.

IRAN is conducting a five-day military exercise to prepare for any possible attack, state media said.  A flurry of executions and death sentences in Iran has raised concern that the government is using judicially sanctioned killing to intimidate the political opposition and quell pockets of ethnic unrest around the nation, human rights groups and Iran experts said.

AFGHANISTAN: American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of the country.

SHYLA, a chihuahua-fox terrier cross, nurses seven abandoned kittehsMass hysteria!

MARY THE TORTOISE found to actually be Terry the Tortoise.  Only took Cleveland Zookeepers 50 years to discover this, making them slower than...

HEY, ARE THOSE 15 LIZARDS strapped to your chest, or are you just happy... oh, wait.

HUNDREDS OF SHEEP die in Australia after a livestock carrier rolled.

A CAT is rescued after three days in a tree.

WHEN A POLAR BEAR ATTACKS, it's an awww...some photo op.

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